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Plans To Showcase The History of Fiji’s Rich Sugar Industry

The Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) recognises that the rich history and social significance of the sugar industry in Fiji, which spans nearly 150 years is integral to the development of
20 Oct 2018 12:31
Plans To Showcase The History of Fiji’s Rich Sugar Industry
The Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) is considering options to establish a Sugar Industry Visitor Centre and Museum to preserve its heritage.

The Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) recognises that the rich history and social significance of the sugar industry in Fiji, which spans nearly 150 years is integral to the development of the nation and its historical significance needs to be preserved and kept alive, especially for future generations.

In pursuit of this, FSC is considering options for establishing a Sugar Industry Visitor Centre and Museum to preserve its heritage.

Chief Executive Officer Graham Clark said: “We will be approaching the National Trust of Fiji, the Department of Heritage and Arts and the Fiji Museum; who are local experts in this area, to map out a plan on how we can bring this idea to life”.

FSC will also be collaborating with all industry stakeholders to ensure that whatever is captured, recorded and preserved is done in the best possible manner. Such a facility would integrate with future plans to offer a point of interest for local residents and visitors alike.

Mr Clark said: “We are in the process of identifying land in Lautoka, close to the existing mill complex and with easy access to the Lautoka Cruise Ship terminal, for this purpose. The goal would be a world-class offering to contribute to the preservation of the sugar industry”.

FSC‟s identification and recording of items of heritage and industry significance has been and will continue to be carried out with the assistance of local authorities and international accredited conservationists, so as to achieve the best possible outcome for FSC’s mill sites and rail network.

FSC is aware of studies by an Australian heritage conservationist, Mr Chris Richards who has researched old CSR Sugar Refinery Limited records and concluded that the value of our heritage is significant.

Many old FSC relics have been catalogued and recorded and are available for display in  such a facility – including from the closed Penang Mill in Rakiraki, and the three remaining FSC mills and rail infrastructure. Use of the FSC tram line system might also be integrated to offer a true historical sugar experience from this facility for local residents and tourists.

Whilst FSC sees this progressive step towards preservation as exciting, the initial discussions with relevant heritage experts, the centre’s planning and mobilisation of resources would take several years. But being mindful of the ever increasing impact of climate change on old assets, FSC realises that it is necessary to begin sooner rather than later, and the company is willing to take the lead in partnership with all stakeholders, cane farmers and heritage experts in this field.

Source: Fiji Sugar Corporation

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